While dependency exemption amounts were reduced to $0 for the 2018 tax year, that does not mean that dependencies themselves are necessarily gone. Depending on whether or not you have dependents or you yourself are a dependent will help to determine if there are still benefits for you or your family available.
Because of this, it’s important to determine who is a dependent and who is not. If you are wondering whether or not someone else can claim you on their taxes, it’s important to review the different tests available.
So, what are these tests? The three basic ones that apply to both qualifying relatives and qualifying children are as follows:
Dependent Taxpayer Test
The first step is making sure that the person in question is not able to claim anyone else as a dependent on their tax return. If you are able to claim someone else, then you yourself cannot be a dependent of someone else.
Citizen or Resident Test
If you are a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico, then you meet the citizen or resident test.
Joint Return Test
If you file a joint return with a spouse, then you are not eligible to be claimed as a dependent of someone else. The exception to this rule is if you are filing a joint return only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated taxes that were paid throughout the year.
For qualifying children, the four additional tests are below:
If you are younger than 19 or younger than 24 and a full time student or permanently and totally disabled and you are any age, then you meet the age test for child dependents.
For the relationship test to be met, the child must have been the son or daughter, a foster child, or a descendent of any of them. Other options could be the sibling, step-sibling, half-sibling, or any descendent of these.
For the residency test, the child is required to have lived with the taxpayer for more than half of the year.
If a child provides more than half of his or her own support for the year, then they are not considered a dependent of anyone.
For specifics about support and a worksheet, click here.
To claim qualifying relatives, the four tests are below:
Not a Qualifying Child Test
To meet this test, the dependent in question must not be the taxpayer’s qualifying child or anyone else’s qualifying child.
Member of Household or Relationship Test
For this test to be met, the potential dependent must either live as a member of the household of the taxpayer all year or be related to the taxpayer as either a child, sibling, parent, or any other way listed here.
Gross Income Test
To meet this test, the dependent cannot have gross income that is more than the personal exemption amount for the year.
Again, this test is met by the taxpayer providing more than 50% of the total support for the dependent for the year.
This article does not constitute financial advice. For help regarding your specific situation, please contact your local specialist.